Inertia beckons. The fog was thick on Thursday when I visited Millennium Park, but it was even thicker this morning when Lesa and I decided to try birding the Palos area.
McGinnis Slough was fairly quiet except for Canada Geese that kept flying over. We did see the outline of perhaps 500 or so in the water except we could barely make out their shapes in the fog. There were American Tree Sparrows on the ground not far from the parking lot.
We did manage to see several Common Mergansers at the south end of the preserve. The shot of the geese flying overhead gives you an idea of how foggy it was.
We drove over to the Little Red Schoolhouse to see birds at the feeders, if nothing else, and true to Lesa’s prediction, there were two Tufted Titmice.
We also had our only White-Throated Sparrow at the Schoolhouse. There’s an American Tree Sparrow behind it.
Perhaps the brightest feature at the Schoolhouse was the fungus growing below.
Here are a few pictures from Thursday, downtown at Millennium Park. There are perhaps 20 or 30 White-Throated Sparrows distributed in several areas. Below are two that came for the birdseed I had brought with me.
American Robins are starting to show up here and there. They never really go completely away but they associate loosely in flocks in the winter.
European Starlings are returning too. They used to overwinter but the last few years I have noticed their absence, so they must be migrating a bit for a while.
Those tough year-round city natives, Rock Pigeons, are always somewhere in the Loop. Below, two pied pigeons.
Individually they’re really unique. But I have to be careful not to pay too much attention to them or they’ll think I’m going to feed them.
This Robin was interesting too. How much color can I get out of any bird in this light?
The forecast is for cooler temperatures, rain turning to snow, winter isn’t over yet. But this week I heard some bird song from a Black-Capped Chickadee, an American Robin and a Northern Cardinal. That gives me hope.